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Volume not an issue, offensive speech is, say residents near mosques

 | October 20, 2017

Many say they are used to the volume but feel uncomfortable sometimes over the content of the religious talks.

residents-near-mosques-Volume-not-an-issue-1PETALING JAYA: The mosque near Yong Lim Chan’s house in Taman Alam Megah, Shah Alam, is barely a three minutes’ walk away.

Which means the “azan”, or the Muslim call to prayer which is sounded five times daily, is within earshot.

But it doesn’t bother Yong, who has grown accustomed to the calls for prayer, as well as religious talks delivered at the mosque.

“I have no issue with it, even though it is loud,” the 32-year-old, who has lived in the area for over a decade, told FMT.

In neighbouring Klang, Shalini has also grown accustomed to the azan and religious talks from the mosque near her house.

But what concerns Shalini, a Hindu, is the content of the lectures blared over the speakers.

“Sometimes I feel slighted by what is said,” she told FMT.

“There are times when the talks touch on the priority given to certain communities and I feel like it is not fair to other races.”

The Selangor sultan recently ordered religious lectures, other than for the azan and Quranic recitations, be limited to within the vicinity of the mosque.

The ruler said the move was to protect the image of Islam in Malaysia, following a controversial lecture in a royal mosque in Shah Alam early this month by government preacher Zamihan Mat Zin.

Zamihan, who criticised the Sultan of Johor for condemning a “Muslim-only” policy of a laundrette in Muar, was also stripped of his religious teaching credentials in Selangor.

Shalini said Hindu prayers at the temple could also be “quite loud”.

“So if people can tolerate our prayers, why can’t we do the same?”

Residents met at several neighbourhoods with mosques or surau said they were generally not bothered by the sound.

Noor Hidaya shares Shalini’s concerns, saying some of the religious talks at the mosques may sound extreme to non-Muslims.

“Some of the topics may be offensive and we need to be cautious as we are living in a multiracial country,” the 35-year-old said.

Mohd Izman Loke Izwan, however, felt there was no need to lower the volume of the public address system.

“As long as the religious talks do not contain attacks on another race I think it would not be a problem,” said the 32-year old from Bandar Sri Putra in Kajang.

The issue of loud speakers at mosques and surau have often touched a raw nerve. In the past, there were complaints that some mosques blasted their early morning religious lectures.

This led to the Penang Islamic Religious Affairs Department instructing mosques and surau in the state to only use internal loudspeakers during religious lectures for the convenience of those inside the mosque.


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